Vintage and vintage-inspired accessories are wildly popular these days, with designers and retailers making them the focal point of their offerings.
As a longtime lover of vintage jewels, this is great for me. When my beloved Nana passed away a few years ago, I inherited her beautiful jewelry – an eclectic mix of colorful costume beads, vintage brooches and antique strands of pearls. I wear the pieces often and love mixing them with my jewelry. I treasure them more than I can possibly articulate because I adored her so much.
Nana’s jewelry is precious because it was special to her – and will be passed down for generations. Lockets are timeless and have the same special quality. They make a loving, uniquely personal gift for someone special and can create a new family heirloom.
A bit of history - lockets first became popular during the Victorian era. The locket was meant to be worn next to the heart of its owner, either via a long chain or clipped to one's bodice with a pin. During the U.S. Civil War, soldiers often left a lock of hair at home, which was placed into a locket by their sweethearts upon news of their death.
Lockets are fascinating because they tell a story and they hold special photos or meaningful mementos. While searching for lockets to write about for this post, I was in awe over the number of unique pieces available. It was so hard to choose just a few. My favorites are featured here, but I’d encourage you to search for lockets on Etsy to see what treasures you can discover.
I am absolutely in love with the delicate, romantic beauty of the “Juliet’s Rose” locket by The Bijou Babe. The locket itself features a rose guilloche center and is surrounded by tiny milk glass beads. The locket is suspended by a hand fabricated chain of beautifully faceted rose quartz beads, pearls and milk glass beads. This locket has such a feel of romance, that it is perfect to hide away a photo or love note from your very own Romeo. To view The Bijou Babe’s entire necklace collection, visit her on Etsy.
This charming locket from the Hollywood Hillbilly is so sweet and feminine. The vintage raw brass, copper lined locket is decorated with a 1970's vintage autumn floral cabochon surrounded by a chain of vintage rhinestones. Suspended above the locket is a facetted rust stone, a vintage copper colored pearl and a moss colored Czech glass leaf. All hang from a delicate, 20” solid brass chain accented with a tiny golden sparrow and three vintage metallic copper glass beads. Click here to see more of this designers collection.
Designer, Heather Berry, calls this locket her favorite amongst all of the necklaces she has created. The vintage locket is made of brass and its 38mm diameter is large enough to hold a good sized photograph or small keepsake. The design features a bouquet of pressed Czech flowers in shades of teal blue and green. The vine is also brass, aged to a true verdigris patina (not painted). Be sure to check out the designers other vintage lockets through her Etsy shop.
This beautiful locket by Botanical Bird has an engraved floral pattern on the front and is adorned with a lovely verdigris bird and two flower vines, which all dangle in front.
The locket comes on a long brass chain with a lobster style clasp.
To see more from this designer, visit her Etsy shop.
This sweet Victorian locket from Angela’s studio carries a vintage style smoky glass gem and a glass pearl hanging from a screened bow. The brass chain measures 18", but can be lengthened or shortened upon request.
See more here.
I’m drawn to this whimsical locket from 55 Maple designs. The antique bronze and brass make it a perfect accessory for the winter months. This necklace features a bird on a wire pendant in antique bronze with a tiny vintage raw brass locket suspended from the pendant. The locket has a peachy orange flower adhered to the front for a feminine touch and a sweet ribbon tied to the top.
Visit the 55 Maple Designs shop on Etsy.
This truly special antique cameo piece by Darling Jewels is very old and rare. The cameo appears to be hand carved out of shell and bezel set. It has a rhinestone on each side and initials on the back.
I love how the designer created this unique piece by adding part of an old rhinestone necklace along with mother of pearl beads and a vintage clasp. It’s a stunning piece. For more from this artist, visit her Etsy shop.
How classic is this gorgeous pocket watch locket from Life Dream?
The watch measures 4.7cm and actually works. The Swarovski crystals that surround the piece make it a knockout.
Visit Life Dreams Etsy shop for more.
Jasper Hillburn created this one of a kind necklace that features a lovely vintage gold tone locket with a watch embedded into it. The locket watch hangs from beautiful rolo chain, antique crystal rosary beads and clasps together with an old timer lobster clasp.
Almost all of the designers pieces are customizable based on length preferences.
For more visit Jasper Hillburn on Etsy.
This pretty retro gold photo locket hangs from two chains and has a sweet pigeons adorned to it. I love the intricate detail on the face of the locket and the Swarovski crystal center is a nice added touch.
This necklace is also incredibly reasonably priced at $7.99!
Visit the Etsy shop for more.
This one is a must have for me. “Keep Calm Carry On” is a lovely quote that was produced by the British government in 1939 at the beginning of World War II to raise the morale of the British public in the case of invasion. The saying has taken on a resurgence in popularity in recent times. A few years ago, my friend Hope and I first noticed it on a poster in a boutique window while in North Carolina on a business trip. We loved it and decided to adopt it as our motto. Since then, I’ve noticed the charming words popping up in a lot of unique places.
So, I seriously must have this necklace. Each locket has unique tarnish characteristics which lend to the vintage appeal – making your locket uniquely yours.
For more from this artist visit the Amber Leaf shop on Etsy.
Last but not least, this amazing piece would be perfect to add to your holiday outfit (I wish the one in this photo could be mine!). This vintage inspired piece features a rhinestone snowflake shaped brooch on its face adding a modern twist to the locket. A vintage glass gem suspends the locket on a 24" chain. This designer has many unique pieces, which you can find (where else) on Etsy.
This Christmas, think about giving a locket – a gift that will last a lifetime.